Thursday, March 12, 2015

The sap’s finally running

Maple syrup production is finally in full spring (or swing) after a brutally cold February.

“The sap is flowing this week and many are fully tapped with two or three boils completed,” reports Todd Leuty, forestry specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

“So far the sap sugar concentration is very low, but this should improve with each run,” he says.

There was some sap running in the extreme southern part of the province at the end of February, but that ended when the cold came back in early March.

February temperatures set a number of records – the coldest winter day in more than a century, daily record lows and an entire month without rising above the freezing mark.

While maple syrup producers were anxious to get ready for the season, it’s dangerous to tap trees at temperatures below minus five, Celsius. The tree and bark can split, creating a wound that can take several years to heal.

It was also so cold that plastic pipelines were difficult, if not impossible, to string. Some found that the plastic would snap when they tried to uncoil it.